"Jane, a 42-year-old secretary, was driving home from work when, out of the blue, she had a frightening panic attack. She was hyperventilating, felt unable to breathe and it seemed like she was looking out through a long tunnel. Her hands began to clench and she had chest pain. She pulled over to the side of the road and called an ambulance. By the time she got to the hospital, she already felt better. The doctor in the emergency room told her that she had had a panic attack. Prescribed Xanax 0.5 mg twice daily, Jane was advised to follow up with her family physician soon. A few days later Jane met with her family doctor, who advised her to take Xanax three times a day, and prescribed a month's supply with two refills. After three months on Xanax with no further panic attacks, Jane decided not to refill the prescription. That night she was unable to sleep at all, with a severe headache and intense, unfocused worry about everything. Jane called her doctor the next day. The doctor explained to Jane that this happened because Jane had a chemical imbalance and that Jane needed the Xanax to treat the chemical imbalance. Jane took Xanax every day, exactly as prescribed for the next 7 years. One day, on a vacation out of state, her Xanax was stolen from her hotel room, and she was unable to find a local doctor willing to prescribe more for her. Because of the intensity of her physical and emotional withdrawal, she cut her vacation short and came home to get her Xanax refilled. It was at that point that Jane realized the intensity of her addiction to Xanax."
Xanax Withdrawal provides a road map for stopping Xanax. Xanax dependency is a common problem, and there is little practical information available on how to safely and comfortably stop taking it. A patient can unknowingly become dependent on Xanax, with dependency sometimes happening after as little as a week or two of regular use. Dr. Shipko addresses issues related to stopping Xanax; why to stop, when to stop, how to taper the drug and what to expect during withdrawal. A practicing psychiatrist for over 34 years, Dr. Shipko has had considerable experience with Xanax because of his subspecialty interest in panic disorder.